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Peng Cruises Into Nanchang Semifinals

Top seed Peng Shuai and teenager Liu Fangzhou were both winners on another rain-hit day at the Zhonghong Jiangxi International Women's Open.

Published July 25, 2014 12:13

Peng Cruises Into Nanchang Semifinals
Peng Shuai

NANCHANG, China - While the weather remains stubbornly overcast, a strong showing by the home nation on Friday has succeeded in lifting the gloom at the inaugural Zhonghong Jiangxi International Women's Open.

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After starting outside, rain soon forced the players to retreat indoors for the second straight day. No.1 seed Peng has taken the move in her stride, following up Thursday's win over Ilona Kremen with an even more impressive display against Wang Qiang.

The only moment of concern against Wang came in the very first game, when Peng was forced to fend off a break point. From then on, though, it was smooth sailing, Peng completing a 6-2, 6-2 win in little over an hour.

At 28, Peng was the oldest player to make it through to the quarterfinals, and is glad to see the next generation coming through.

"There are so many players who are much younger than me here," Peng said. "To be honest, I'm glad to see more and more young players, particularly from China, appearing on the court and doing well. I hope they will continue to do well - just maybe not in the semifinals!"

Meeting Peng in for a place in the final will be one of China's brightest young talents, 20-year-old Zheng Saisai, who delighted the crowd by upsetting No.3 seed Misaki Doi, 6-3, 7-6(5).

"I am really glad to play in the tournament this week and am glad to have won again," Zheng said. "I've got better with each match and I hope to continue to do this in the semifinals."

In the bottom half of the draw, No.4 seed Luksika Kumkhum ended hopes of an all-Chinese semifinal line-up by defeating wildcard Wang Yafan, 6-4, 7-5. Her reward is a meeting with World No.422 Liu Fangzhou, who continued her surprise run with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 win over Zhang Ling

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